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How to Change a Normal User to Administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 10

We show you how to make a user an administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 10 via Settings, netplwiz, Command Prompt, and more.

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Windows has two general account types, the “Standard” user, who gains access to a selected number of features and functions, and the “Administrator“, who can perform more advanced tasks such as app installation, global settings changes, and command execution. Today, we're going to show you how to change a user account to an administrator in or .

Before we start, however, it's worth thinking through the implications of making the change to an administrator account. You should understand that you are granting this user full control over their PC. This includes the ability to see and interact with other admins' files, install authorized programs (including malware), bypass blocking software, or entirely wipe the PC.

Instead, for some users, you may be better served to retain the standard account but enter the administrator password for them when they want to make advanced changes. This way, you can vet any changes to the device before agreeing to them.

With that said, if you're sure you want to change a user to an administrator in Windows 10 or 11, you can follow along below:

⚠️ Please note: In this tutorial, we use screenshots of Windows 11 to demonstrate the process. Please be aware that though the same general method applies for Windows 10, there may be some minor changes to the process and UI elements. These will be noted in the relevant steps in the guide.

How to Make a User an Administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 10 via Settings

Unsurprisingly, the most user-friendly way to change a user to administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 11 is through the in-built settings UI. Here's how:

  1. Press Start and press the “Settings” icon on your Start menu

     
    If you're on Windows 10, you'll want to press the settings cog above the power menu, instead.
     
    Windows 11 - Open Settings

  2. Select “Accounts” in the sidebar, then press “Family & other users”
     

    In Windows 10, you'll press the “Accounts” icon instead, then select “Family & other users” in the sidebar.
     
    Windows 11 - Settings - Accounts - Family & Other Users

  3. Press the expand the user and click “Change account type”

     
    In Windows 10, “Change account type” will also show up when you click the person's name.
     
    Windows 11 - Settings - Accounts - Family & Other Users - Yohan - Change Account Type

  4. Choose “Administrator” from the list and press “OK”
     

    Windows 11 - Settings - Accounts - Family & Other Users - Yohan - Change Account Type - Admin - Accept

How to Make a User an Administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 10 via Control Panel

If you prefer a classic UI, you can achieve the same goal in around the same amount of time using the Control Panel app. This has the advantage of being unified between OSes:

  1. Press Start and type “Control Panel”, then click the top result
     

    Windows 11 - Open Control Panel

  2. Search for “User Accounts” in the Control Panel search bar and click the “User Accounts” heading
     

    Windows 11 - Control Panel - Search User Accounts

  3. Press “Manage another account”

     
    You'll have to provide administrator credentials to perform this step.
     
    If you want to know how to make yourself an administrator in Windows 11, the answer is to press “Change your account type” here instead and provide an admin password.
     
    Windows 11 - Control Panel - Search User Accounts - Manage Another Account

  4. Select the user account you'd like to change to an administrator
     

    Windows 11 - Control Panel - Search User Accounts - Manage Another Account - Yohan

  5. Press “Change the account type”
     

    Windows 11 - Control Panel - Search User Accounts - Manage Another Account - Yohan - Change the Account Type

  6. Select “Administrator” and press “Change Account Type”
     

    Windows 11 - Control Panel - Search User Accounts - Manage Another Account - Yohan - Change the Account Type - Administrators

How to Give Administrator Permission in Windows 11 or Windows 10 with Computer Management

A more advanced way to make a user an administrator in Windows 11 or 10 involves use of the “Computer Management” tool. This should be available regardless of whether you have a Pro or Home edition. Here's how you use it:

  1. Press Start and type “Computer Management”, then click the top result
     

    Windows 11 - Open Computer Management

  2. Open “Local Users and Groups” in the sidebar and double-click “Users” in the main pane
     

    Windows 11 - Computer Management - Local Users and Groups - Users

  3. Double click the user you want to make an admin
     

    Windows 11 - Computer Management - Local Users and Groups - Users Yohan

  4. Open the “Member Of” tab and press “Add…”
     

    Windows 11 - Computer Management - Local Users and Groups - Users Yohan Properties - Member Of - Add

  5. Type “Administrators” in the “object names” field and press “OK”
     

    Windows 11 - Computer Management - Local Users and Groups - Users Yohan Properties - Member Of - Add Admin - Accept

  6. Check that the user is now a member of “Administrators” and press “OK” again

     
    You can repeat this process for any other users you'd like to give administrator permissions to.
     
    Windows 11 - Computer Management - Local Users and Groups - Users - Yohan Properties - Member Of - Add Admin - Accept

How to Make Yourself (or Another User) an Administrator in Windows 11 or 10 via netplzwiz

Netplzwiz is the dedicated user accounts tool in Windows 10 and Windows 11. By opening it directly and cutting out the middleman, you can very quickly give the administrator permission to a user:

  1. Press Windows + R, type “netplwiz” and click “OK”
     

    Windows 11 - Run - Netplwiz - Accept

  2. Select the user you want to modify and click “Properties”
     

    Windows 11 - Run - Netplwiz - Yohan - Properties

  3. Tick “Administrator” and press “OK”
     

    Windows 11 - Run - Netplwiz - Yohan - Properties - Admin - Accept

How to Make a User an Administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 10 Using CMD

If you want to forgo the UI entirely, Command Prompt is another option. The net localgroup command lets you quickly change an account's permissions without being too difficult to remember. Here's how you can use it:

  1. Press Start and type “Command Prompt”, then press “Run as administrator” on the right-hand side

     
    You will need to run Command Prompt as an administrator to make this change, so obtain your admin's permission if necessary.
     
    Windows 11 - Open Elevated Command Propmpt

  2. Type the change administrator command and press Enter

     
    In your CMD window, write the following, replacing “User” with the full username of the account:

    net localgroup administrators "User" /add

     Windows 11 - Elevated Command Propmpt - Enter Cmd

How to Create an Administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 10 With PowerShell

As is typical, you can use a command to perform the same action if that's your preference. The command is a little harder to remember, but it's still pretty easy:

  1. Open PowerShell as an admin

     
    Press Start and type “Powershell”, then click “Run as Administrator” on the right-hand side.
     
    Windows 11 - Open Elevated Powershell

  2. Type the local group command and press Enter

     
    In PowerShell, the command you want to type is as follows:

    Add-LocalGroupMember -Group "Administrators" -Member "User"

    As with Command Prompt, you should replace "User" with the full name of the user account that you want to give administrator permissions.
     
    Windows 11 - Elevated Powershell - Enter Cmd

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Windows Administrator Accounts

Can a standard user change their own account to an administrator?

No, a standard user cannot elevate their account to administrator status due to Windows security protocols. Any attempt to modify account types must be done by an existing administrator who has authorized access to account management features either through the Control Panel, Settings, or command-line tools such as PowerShell or CMD.

How do I know if my account has administrator privileges?

To check if your account has administrator privileges, navigate to Control Panel > User Accounts > Manage Accounts. Here, your account type will be displayed next to your account name. Alternatively, you can access Settings > Accounts > Your info in Windows 10 and 11, where your account type is stated directly under your user name.

Can I revert an administrator account back to a standard user?

Yes, you can change an administrator account back to a standard user by following the same steps used to elevate the account but choosing “Standard User” instead of “Administrator” when adjusting the account type. This can be performed via the User Accounts section in the Control Panel or through the Settings app under Accounts > Family & other users.

Is it possible to change multiple user accounts to administrators at the same time?

Windows does not provide a built-in graphical option to change multiple user accounts to administrators simultaneously. Each account needs to be modified individually. However, for organizations, administrative scripts or group policy settings can be employed to adjust multiple accounts at once programmatically.

After changing an account to an administrator, are the changes effective immediately?

Yes, once an account type is changed to an administrator, the changes take effect immediately. It may require logging off and logging back on, or restarting the computer to fully update all administrative rights and permissions for the modified user account.

Are there any risks in changing a standard user account to an administrator?

Elevating a standard user to an administrator increases potential security risks, such as accidental system modifications, susceptibility to malware, and potential data breaches. It's essential that users granted administrative rights have a clear understanding of system management and security implications.

If I change a user to an administrator, can they access my personal files?

Yes, an administrator has access to all files and folders on the system, not limited to user-specific areas but also system folders and other user accounts. This level of access should be granted with caution to ensure data privacy and system integrity.

Can an administrator see other users' passwords?

While administrators can reset passwords and manage account settings, they do not have direct access to view existing passwords due to security hashing and encryption practiced in Windows systems. Administrators can, however, reset passwords if necessary through the management tools.

If a user is made an administrator, can they install any software without restrictions?

As an administrator, a user can install software and modify system settings without restrictions. They can also override security prompts and install applications that require deeper system access, which standard users cannot do.

How do I disable administrator permissions for a specific application without changing the user's account type?

To run a specific application without administrator rights, right-click on its executable file, select Properties, go to the Compatibility tab, and check the option “Run this program as an administrator” to either enable or disable it, or use the Task Scheduler to create a task to run the program with lower privileges.

Are there any performance differences between standard and administrator accounts?

There are no intrinsic performance differences based solely on the account type; both standard and administrator accounts operate at the same performance level. The differences lie in user permissions and the scope of access to system resources and settings.

Can a user with administrator rights access restricted areas of the system, like the Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor?

Yes, with administrator rights, a user gains access to system-critical areas such as the Registry Editor, Local Group Policy Editor, and other advanced management tools that standard accounts cannot access. This includes the ability to alter system-wide settings and configurations.

What's the difference between the hidden Administrator account and a regular administrator account?

The hidden Administrator account, often referred to as the “Super Administrator,” has higher privileges and bypasses User Account Control (UAC), allowing unrestricted access to the system and operating with slightly more elevated rights than a regular administrator. It is typically used for troubleshooting and when no other administrative accounts can resolve issues.

Can changing an account to an administrator impact system security updates or firewall settings?

Giving a user administrative rights itself doesn't directly affect the installation of system updates or the configuration of the firewall. However, an administrator has the power to alter these settings, which could potentially delay updates or weaken firewall rules, affecting system security.

How can I modify the administrative privileges of a user remotely?

For remote management, you can use tools like Windows Remote Desktop, PowerShell remoting, or third-party remote management software. With these tools, you can log in to the remote system with administrator credentials and navigate to the User Accounts or similar settings to modify user privileges accordingly.

Extra: How to Enable the Hidden Administrator Account in Windows 11 and Windows 10

Unlike regular user accounts, even those with administrative privileges, Windows 11 and Windows 10 have a built-in hidden Administrator account that has a unique status within the operating system. In our other guide, we show you how to activate the built-in hidden administrator account in Windows.
 
Windows 10 - How to Enable the Hidden Administrator Account

Extra: How to Delete a User Account in Windows

The easiest way to delete a user account in Windows is via the settings menu, but that's not suitable for everyone. At times, it can throw up errors, run into conflicts with family groups, or be unsuitable for an enterprise environment. Our other tutorial covers how to remove a user account through settings, the Control Panel, Computer Management, netplwiz, PowerShell, and Command Prompt.
 
Feature - How to Delete a User Account in Windows 11

Last Updated on May 6, 2024 10:24 am CEST

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.
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